Agba Jalingo

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for the release of Agba Jalingo, a journalist, charged with treasonable felony among others, from correctional centre custody.

Mr Adeyemi Azeez, the National Public Relations Officer of the association made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

Jalingo, a publisher of CrossRiverWatch was arrested on Aug 22, over a report of alleging that Gov Ben Ayade of Cross River diverted N500 million belonging to the state.

Azeez said that turning deaf ears to the plight of the renowned activist and journalist was uncalled for and therefore urged those involved to do the needful to secure his release.

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“On Friday, Oct 4, the journalist and rights activist, Agba Jalingo, filed a bail application but was refused by a Federal High Court.

“Although the court has autonomous powers on cases before it, but this development further increased the widespread rumours saying state powers are behind his travail.

“In fact, the mode of his arrest was shocking as his wife confirmed that the men who took her husband away from their residence in Lagos were not wearing police uniforms.

“Also, they did not show her the warrant of arrest,” he said.

According to him, it was later discovered that the journalist was arrested by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police Force on Aug 22.

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Azeez said that Jalingo was moved to Calabar and arraigned before a Federal High Court on Sept 25.

He said that the journalist was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on acts of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government.

Azeez said that it was inhuman for the activist to be kept in correctional centre custody since Sept 25, as the ruling of the court was being awaited.

“The activist has been kept in custody for over 119 days even when his case is yet to be ruled upon by a competent court,” he said.

The students expressed concern that the continuous detention of the activist was undermining the nation’s hard-earned democracy.